*SafeRoom Test, 02 November 02*
(12 Hour Test)

By: Warlord and the Girlies
04 November 02

We're in and sealed up, already have a pressure on the room, took 5 minutes and then I turned down the incoming pressure to try to maintain just little over pressure (4PSI pressure differential can burst your Eardrums if your ears don't "pop"... 3PSI will shove snot up into your head...)

When our ears popped the first time, I turned down the incoming air to maintain that level... I expect them to pop again a time or two as the air in the rooms levels out...

The Girls are watching a DVD right now.. We went over what everything does and why again.. they understand.. they're looking at it more like a campout while camping in... They've already managed to rip the sheets off the bed...

We already had the plastic sheeting pop a seam around the side where it was sealed when the plastic flexed outwards... nothing major, it was before we turned the pressure down... I wanted to put a pressure on the room as fast as possible, while still being safe, to simulate having to do it quick... within 6.5 minutes from "ok let's go", we were "safe".

We have two vents coming in here from the roof... one is the intake and has a rubber disk above it to keep bugs out when the fan is not in use (Blowing outwards)... this disk is propped up when the fan is running in reverse... From that idea I decided to put a heavy rubber disk above the other vent and use it as a pressure regulator.. it took some experimenting, but when I set the switch to what should normally equal our household PSI the rubber disk on the other vent "Burps" open if the pressure gets greater than a few points of PSI over pressure...

This is tricky since if the barometer drops outside, it'll burp it's butt off cause the pressure in here is then A LOT greater than out there... If the Barometer outside rises, it seals off to keep anything from getting in while the fans speed up to take up the slack...

Luckily, normal weather related barometer changes happen slowly.. this means that even with the filter stack running on low the room can pressurize in plenty of time to keep up with the changes outside...

I had to remind the Girlies to bring drinks, GLASSES, plates, etc in here since we're doing supper in here.. so far it's Chicken burgers done up in the microwave... I want to use up the perishables first... TRASH CAN AND BAGS need to be brought in also...

We started the test on Alt Energy since everything back here is already on the alt grid... I checked the batteries before we started and the last two sunny days had em topped off and in good shape, so there shouldn't be a problem with that.

We decided to go one step further and use the backup water system. I filled one glass with city water, and the other with our storage water outside... I can't tell a difference in taste, so it must be close to being the same (I might have actually got the purifying thing right :)

As we sealed ourselves in, I also sealed in the back-up air pump in case it's needed... no big deal (Ears just popped again... good)... I just thought that maybe I need to get another motor and fan for this primary Filter stack in here... good, that's the purpose of this test, to remind us of things like this...

Alec already said she was glad we decided to leave the door open and cover the opening in plastic, she says she's a little claustrophobic.. (First I've heard about this, but Good! Now I know something important that I needed to know BEFORE I needed to know it... again, the purpose of the test.)

The Barometer in here is holding steady at about 1.3 overpressure.. This doesn't actually translate to "PSI" but it's a scale we use and since it's marked as such on our barometer we use it, it's where WE feel comfortable, so it's the standard we use to gauge overpressure...

We also turned off the heat.. it's COLD outside (Well, about as cold as it gets here) but the safe room is comfortable...

The air smells good (Even with the girlies in here) so that part is working ok too, I lit a cigarette and the air got pushed right up the vent as fast as I smoked it.. again, good.

This saferoom is actually three rooms.. the Master bedroom, Master bath and Office... We planed the bottom of the bathroom and office doors off a bit so that the fan in here will pressurize all three rooms still even with the doors closed.. this is important... people (adults) need SOME privacy too... this way anyone needing a little privacy can have it simply by closing the door... also, if I smoke in the office (Where the outgoing vent is) the people in the other two rooms can't even smell it... Now, when the bathroom is used, whoever is in the office is going to SUFFER! :) I may swap the filter stack intake to the office and have the outflow in the bathroom.... they are the exact same vents, so it shouldn't be hard.. I might try swapping them here later to test the back up filters... the rubber disks on both vents are the exact same (I changed em both with that in mind)

We solved the "Heat vent problem" by closing them and then covering them with heavy bathroom rugs (The kind with the rubber coating on the bottom)... if we needed extra air released, we'd just open one or two of these.

We also remembered to turn off the central heat...

We normally store about 1.5 months of food back here anyway.. we have two big walk-in closets, so that wasn't a problem.. but wanted to let you know that it IS doable...

More as it happens... so far so good!

4 Hours and 30 minutes inside
We're 4.5 hours in and no problems.. the girls are timing their bathroom visits.... you know how women are, one says they gotta go, they ALL have to go... usually that's not a problem with two bathrooms, but now we're all sharing one...

But that's OK too.. I'm about ready to put em in the Shower for the night so *I* can have some quiet.. talk about bouncing off the walls!

I guess Alec found another bored kid in a shelter somewhere cause she came in here and played Diablo L.O.D. online for a while. :)

I found out that you CAN use computer fans with Filters on the back for pressurizing a saferoom, but you have to have more than 15 :)

No Kidding, we hooked up 15 of these, taped them into a giant Rectangle shape 5 across and 3 high and then connected them to a 12V battery in here... it puts out air. So if you're like us and have a LOAD of these fans, that seems to work. "Brick-O-Fans"

Otherwise, just fighting the boredom and Cailyn's bodily smells.. I had to explain that I know SHE thinks Farts are cool, but the rest of us trapped into a sealed room with her DO NOT.

Now they're in there playing some card game with special decks of cards called "yugioh"... WAAAAaaaayyy over ol dad's head.

Gonna get the kids through quick showers and then watch MST3K :) More later

After 12 Hours
OK.. Maybe this is from breathing filtered air and farts all night.. but unless you live around other people, I don't see a need to stay shut up in a saferoom for months.... Yeah, we'll need it during an initial attack, or chemical spill... but after a week, aint much gonna be left hangin out outside. (?)

I WOULD suggest for us country dwellers that WON'T be around people that we get some UV bulbs and turn them on inside the house a few times a day "Just to be sure"...

Anyone got a line on these bulbs?

I'd go so far as to run my filter fan in the house to keep a slight pressure on it (We do this 24/7 anyway) .. between those two things (Fans and UV lights) the country dweller should be OK.. sorry, but you city dwellers are in Saferoom city)

Now, Having said that, this may solve another problem as well if you live in the country and expect family members to come in that may be infected... by simply reversing the filter/fan assembly, your saferoom becomes a quarantine room.. now you have a NEGATIVE pressure on it and any virus inside the room stays inside the room and is caught by the filter as the air is expelled to the outside... People that are possibly infected may have to live in there for 2 weeks, but that's a LOT better than US having to live in one for 2 months!

This only applies to folks that can reasonably expect not to see another human or be within 50 feet of one should a plague start... Now.. don't get silly and think "My neighbors are 60 feet away on all sides of me, and I'll put a sign up saying "Keep away!"... so I'm clear!".. that's wishful thinking.. I'm talking about serious country dwellers... if you live in a "Neighborhood", yer in saferoom city.

Unless anyone sees any holes in this (other than maybe I'm just wishful thinking here), I think us country dwellers could get away with stocking supplies for 2 weeks or so instead of 2 months??? 2 weeks would get us through any "initial attack/crises" and also though any unexpected situations later on (like a dead body laying on our front porch).

I'd also make DANG SURE to keep the safe room stocked and ready to be inhabited in case of a second strike, looters, NBC follow up, etc etc...

ANY time I went outside, you can bet I'd have on a MINIMUM of an N95 rated mask!

Whadda ya think? Am I missing something?
Warlord and the Girlies



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